Whiteleather gave up only two hits _ a first-inning triple to Stephanie
Moore and an infield single to Kelly Smosarski in the sixth _ and carried
a shutout into the bottom of the sixth before yielding a pair of runs on
successive wild pitches.
Other than that, Whiteleather was overpowering as she struck out 17 batters,
pitching her team to within one game of a state title. That game, against
Wellington, will be played Saturday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.
Edinburg coach Dick Badger is looking forward to his team's initial state
title appearance and a chance for an undefeated season, as Edinburg now
stands at 21-0.
``We're real excited about that; it's our first state tournament,'' said
Badger. ``We know what we can do in our own league. We're anxious to see
how we do elsewhere. We saw that Wellington team play and they are a nice
team. We're just real excited about the opportunity to play them for the
state tournament title.''
With a thrower like Whiteleather, Edinburg can play with anybody. ``She's
a real power pitcher,'' said Badger. ``We've seen just about all the pitchers
now, and she throws as hard as anybody around in this age group. She doesn't
give up a lot of hits; she throws strikes. She's pretty hard to beat.''
Edinburg broke on top against Stephanie Moore with a pair of runs in the
second on a single by Olivia Weber. With two out and two strikes, Weber
hit the ball just out of the reach of the Crestwood first baseman and the
ball fell just inside the line, scoring Suzie Hayes and Kara Gintert.
Edinburg then put the game out of reach by tacking on five more runs the
very next inning. This time Gintert provided the big hit, a two-run single
to left that plated a pair of runners to make the score 6-0.
The lead eventually grew to 10-0 before Crestwood touched up Whiteleather
for two runs in the sixth. But Edinburg quickly answered with three more
in the top of the seventh.
Impressive as Whiteleather's performance was, the fact that Edinburg enjoyed
success against Moore was also noteworthy. Coming into Sunday's game, Moore
had thrown two no-hitters in tournament play alone.
For Crestwood, which fell to 14-5 with a consolation game awaiting next
Saturday, there was disappointment on one hand, but also the positive experience
of playing for a bid to go to the championship game.
``It's a little frustrating, but I'm proud of the girls coming as far as
they did,'' said Crestwood coach LeRoy Moore. ``There are a lot of other
teams that didn't get this far. It was a good opportunity for us.''
Moore said the key for his team, against a pitcher such as Whiteleather,
was to get the ball in play. But that rarely occurred.
``I counted the first 13 pitches that she threw, two of them were balls.
So you know she's throwing strikes; she's throwing them over,'' said Moore.
``Our girls just had to swing the bat and get the ball into play to put
pressure on the defense. But we just weren't able to hit her.''
In A Division semifinal games, the South Amherst Cavaliers edged Brimfield
Home Savings Bank and Wellington Jordan Wood Products topped Marlboro Park
Suffield Hendrickson Construction blanked the West Branch Lady Warriors
in C Division action and will meet Wellington C & W Trucking for a state
Rootstown fell in a D Division semifinal to the Lorain Lady Diamonds. Lorain
will meet Twinsburg for a state championship Saturday.